Rijeka is the first Croatian city to bear the title of European Capital of Culture. The city will bear this prestigious title in 2020, but many interesting exhibitions at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, as well as other interesting permanent exhibitions, such as the unique exhibition of the Glagolitic script at the University Library featuring 127 exhibits in this forgotten script are already open for visitors.
Rijeka’s slogan in this project is “The Port of Diversity”, and it embodies the key components of the city’s identity, its body and spirit. The port represents the very heart of Rijeka, and it has throughout history been the driving force of the city situated in the northernmost border of the Mediterranean and Central Europe.
The existing breakwater, commonly known as the “Molo Longo”, today serves as a seaside promenade thanks to its length of 1707 m. It provides a beautiful view of the city from the seaside, and of the mountains in the backdrop.
Over the last 100 years, our city has changed countries seven times, and that fact is clearly reflected in the diversity present throughout all the spheres of Rijeka’s everyday life. All of this gave rise to population migrations, and turned Rijeka into a cultural melting pot, thus creating a spirit of a city which attracts all kinds diversity.
This fact can most prominently be seen during the international Carnival, one of the biggest in Europe, which takes place under the motto “Be what you want to be”. Take a walk down the Korzo, the main promenade, as it is the lifeline of Rijeka, and the best way for you to feel the pulse of the city.
Have a seat at one of the many cafes and enjoy the view of Rijeka’s citizens’ everyday life. Be their temporary fellow citizen. Be sure to visit Rijeka’s main fish market, have a look at the impressive architecture of the 1916 pavilion, and experience the unique live fish trade. The fish market is also richly decorated, featuring crabs, octopuses, fish, shellfish, and a sculpture by the Venetian sculptor Urban Bottasso, all made in stone.
You can take your children to Peek & Poke, the vintage computer technology museum. The permanent exhibition features more than a thousand exhibits of computer history, making it the largest exhibition of this kind in this part of Europe. The same address (Ivana Grohovca 2, Rijeka) is also home to the Childhood Museum, dedicated to childhood games, books and toys, offering more than 600 exhibits, the oldest of which is a toy dating from the year 1900.
For the more energetic and active among you, a mere 15 minute ride using urban transport services will take you to Rijeka’s numerous beaches, while the city and its surroundings are a unique blend of the green and the blue, i.e. the seaside and the hills, with many cycling and footpaths at your disposal.
The city centre awaits you again in the evenings, where you will find a plethora of bars and restaurants, but also be sure to check the latest and greatest news and events on the European Capital of Culture’s official website at www.rijeka2020.eu, or learn more about Rijeka at www.visitrijeka.eu.
Photos: Tanja Kanazir and Borko Vukosav